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404 Error Pages, One More Time

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The design of 404 error pages is often overlooked and underestimated. However, designed carefully, these pages can make a random visitor stay on your website, take a look around and eventually find the information he or she was looking for in the first place. Effective 404 error pages communicate why a particular page couldn’t be displayed and what users can do next. A search box and list of useful resources (possibly related to the missing page) could be helpful in this case.

We’ve already covered the design of 404 error pages in previous1 posts2. In them, we also covered some interesting and useful ideas for designing 404 pages. Now, it’s time for a fresh dose of 404-error inspiration. This article presents 50 more examples of beautiful and original 404 error designs. Some of them are beautiful but not user-friendly, others are user-friendly but not really beautiful. Please use these examples as a source of inspiration; hopefully, this showcase has something for everybody.

Also note that some examples used in this post were suggested by our Twitter followers: please follow us on Twitter3 to vote on which article gets published next, discuss new ideas, get fresh updates and suggest great ideas for our next posts. Thank you.

Beautiful 404 Error Pages Link

Cut & Taste
Cut & Taste claims that “Someone on the staff is to blame for this! Rest assured, the proper person will get the proper amount of blame and humiliation dealt to them.” Notice how well the search box is highlighted. Beautiful!

Creative 404 Error Page

Productplanner4
Productplanner perfectly integrates its 404 error page in the overall branding of the website.

Creative 404 Error Page5

Mundofox.com
A 404 error page with a not-so-eloquent Homer.

Screenshot

Duoh.com6
Probably one of the most colorful and abstract 404 error pages out there.

Screenshot7

Apartmenthomeliving.com8
A quite unusual 404 error page from a website that helps people find apartments.

Screenshot9

Chrisglass.com
Chris takes his comrades on a trip, hunting for the right page.

Screenshot

Huwshimi.com
On Huwshimi a ninja seems to have stolen a 404 error-page: “you must return when the moon has friends and the fox is borrowed”. Gorgeous!

Screenshot

ilovetypography.com
A typographically beautiful (of course) 404 error page from ILoveTypography.com.

Creative 404 error page

Newspond
Newspond uses a very strange illustration on its 404 error page. The circle defines the limits of the website, and the small image at the top is a miniaturized Newspond logo. A click on the image leads to the home page of the website.

Creative 404 Error Page

Brightkit
“404 Fowl Not Found.” Brightkit shows a missing owl on a milk carton. Unusual and, therefore, memorable.

Creative 404 Error Page

jhuskisson.com

Screenshot

Gog.com
“404: oh noes, there’s nothing in here.” (sent by @Chamb10 via Twitter)

Creative 404 Error Page

User-Friendly 404 Error Pages Link

RealMacSoftware.com
An excellent 404 error page, functionally speaking, that contains a site map of the website.

Creative 404 Error Page

InspirationBit
InspirationBit presents an overview of popular and recommended articles.

Creative 404 Error Page

45royale
This error page contains links to popular posts and a cool illustration of a pretty freaky monkey.

Creative 404 Error Page

Ma.gnolia.com11

Screenshot12

Have Fun With 404! Link

Yes, fun! Because 404 also is a place where you can show your sense of humor. You have the opportunity, so use it well!

www.techkultura.com
On Pawel Opydo’s blog: “Golden Rule of the Code of the Samurai: If this isn’t the page you were looking for, you have to do Seppuku.”

Screenshot

Abduzeedo13
Abduzeedo suggests ideas for finding the right article and lists popular and recent blog posts as well as a tag cloud.

Screenshot14

Habrahabr
An illustrative image (sent by sabugao15 on Twitter).

Creative 404 Error Page

CSS Remix
This fellow is quite scared (sent by @dezignMusings16 on Twitter).

Creative 404 Error Page

Pattern Tap17
Don’t get angry, and don’t cry. Pattern Tap will take on the burden of the missing page.

Screenshot18

New Yorker
The New Yorker magazine has been published since 1925, but it is definitely with it, with its own 404.

Screenshot

Frye/Wiles
Frye/Wiles Creative Agency.

Screenshot

Heinz19
The 404 for the best-known ketchup.

Screenshot20

Chelmsford Library
OMG, Smashing Magazine is missing in the Chelmsford Public Library!

Screenshot

Craigslist
An ASCII 404 error page from Craigslist.

Screenshot

The Truth
Is this really the truth?

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Wulffmorgenthaler
Blame that weird beaver on Wulffmorgenthaler.

Screenshot

Henrik Hedegaard21
Henrik Hedegaard seems to like the Simpsons.

Creative 404 Error Page22

NotaNiche
Refresh and see the next funny picture. A blog by Alexander Frison.

Screenshot

Daze of Our Lives23
“Whatever the Dickens a so-called “Error 404″ is I haven’t the foggiest idea, but one has occurred. You can’t trust this wretched technology, can you?”

Screenshot24

Limpfish
Wanted: a Web page.

Screenshot

Orangecoat25
“Despite that song in your step and sense of purpose, you’ve hit a little bump in the road. These things happen. We’re going to do our best to make sure you keep dancing in the right direction.” Orangecoat gives a 404 error mind map.

Screenshot26

Kochatelier Berlin27
404 bread on the website of a cooking agency.

Screenshot28

Dawdle
Mario occasionally entered the wrong castle.

Screenshot

CSS-Tricks
Chris Coyier takes a closer look at the code.

Screenshot

Niki Brown
Niki Brown encourages her visitors to “Have no fear” and shows them a beautiful mouse illustration.

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Twitter29
Twitter uses a minimalistic yet attractive 404 error page.

Creative 404 Error Page30

Livadaru
Homer on the blog of Cristian Livadaru.

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ARTTHUG Studios
Homer again, this time at ARTTHUG Studios.

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Cubeecraft
Error Cubee (which you can download and make yourself) at Cubeecraft.

Screenshot

d20 SRD
A brutal error at d20 SDR!

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HomeStar Runner31
Oops! You had it coming at HomeStar Runner.

Screenshot32

Animation? Sure! Link

404 doesn’t only have to be about graphics. Below, you’ll find 404 examples with animation.

Mark Fennell
On his 404, Mark Fennell offers… a game!

Screenshot

Project Euh33
Project Euh? Just click and go to a random website.

Screenshot34

Total Insanity35
Total Insanity shows us what insanity really means.

Screenshot36

Herr Nilsson37
This 404 error page fetches 404 Tweets and displays them in real time (sent by eelay38 on Twitter).

Creative 404 Error Page39

Cricket Feet
The 404 error page on Cricket Feet talks to you!

Screenshot

Bluedaniel
Daniel Karcher’s film design studio.

Screenshot

Sources and Resources Link

(al)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/07/25/wanted-your-404-error-pages/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/08/17/404-error-pages-reloaded/
  3. 3 http://twitter.com/smashingmag
  4. 4 http://productplanner.com/404
  5. 5 http://productplanner.com/404
  6. 6 http://www.duoh.com/404
  7. 7 http://www.duoh.com/404
  8. 8 http://www.apartmenthomeliving.com/404.html
  9. 9 http://www.apartmenthomeliving.com/404.html
  10. 10 http://www.twitter.com/Chamb
  11. 11 http://ma.gnolia.com/404
  12. 12 http://ma.gnolia.com/404
  13. 13 http://abduzeedo.com/404
  14. 14 http://abduzeedo.com/404
  15. 15 http://www.twitter.com/sabugao
  16. 16 http://www.twitter.com/dezignMusings
  17. 17 http://patterntap.com/404
  18. 18 http://patterntap.com/404
  19. 19 http://heinz.com/404.aspx
  20. 20 http://heinz.com/404.aspx
  21. 21 http://henrikhedegaard.com/404/404.html
  22. 22 http://henrikhedegaard.com/404/404.html
  23. 23 http://www.dazeofourlives.com/404
  24. 24 http://www.dazeofourlives.com/404
  25. 25 http://www.orangecoat.com/404
  26. 26 http://www.orangecoat.com/404
  27. 27 http://www.kochatelier-berlin.de/404-fehler/
  28. 28 http://www.kochatelier-berlin.de/404-fehler/
  29. 29 http://www.twitter.com/404
  30. 30 http://www.twitter.com/404
  31. 31 http://homestarrunner.com/404
  32. 32 http://homestarrunner.com/404
  33. 33 http://www.project-euh.com/404/?
  34. 34 http://www.project-euh.com/404/?
  35. 35 http://www.tinsanity.net/404.shtml
  36. 36 http://www.tinsanity.net/404.shtml
  37. 37 http://www.herr-nilsson.com/404
  38. 38 http://www.twitter.com/eelay
  39. 39 http://www.herr-nilsson.com/404
  40. 40 http://www.backtoessentials.com/showcases/a-collection-of-404-error-pages/
  41. 41 http://www.blogmarks.net/user/404
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Sylwia Besz is a Product Manager working on online and mobile products/services. Privately she's a blogger at In Web We Trust, geek and amateur photographer.

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  1. 1

    These are awesome, most of the 404 pages I have seen don’t have anything on them. I am trying to create personalized ones to make people feel better and keep them on the site longer. Thanks for the great list and inspiration.

    1
  2. 2

    Great stuff, has inspired me to put more effort into the design of my 404 pages!

    1
  3. 3

    yeah real cool error´s !

    -1
  4. 4

    We put easter eggs in our 404 page – check out:

    http://www.venturenavigator.co.uk/404

    and click on the image!!

    3
  5. 5

    Some very cool error pages.
    I also think that most of the readers do not know what the number 404 means.

    Better to write an understandable text to inform the visitor what happend.

    1
  6. 6

    Very useful and entertaining, thanks!

    0
  7. 7

    One more time? You promise?

    0
  8. 8

    I’ve always been proud of the 404’s I do for my clients. One of my favorites is the one I did for the non-profit Amara Conservation (hope this isn’t construed as advertising or spamming).

    -1
  9. 9
  10. 10

    I know it’s lame to “self promote”, but I’ve searched countless lists of custom 404’s and I think I’ve managed to create one that nobody else has thought of yet…

    http://eight7teen.com/E404

    -1
  11. 11

    Nice list.

    0
  12. 12

    Martijn Vandenberghe

    January 29, 2009 9:19 am

    Where do you guys keep getting the inspiration to write about these things?! Great!

    0
  13. 13

    funny stuff

    0
  14. 14

    Great article, these ones are very enjoyable to read.

    0
  15. 15

    I love the brightkit and the fryewiles one :D

    -1
  16. 16

    Extremely creative!

    -1
  17. 17

    some 404 pages were really creative, while others were simply hilarious. nice list. btw, i like d “live preview” when submitting comments.

    -1
  18. 18

    Flicdelapolice

    January 29, 2009 9:39 am

    Awesome work. This just made me think that for 80% of readers “error 404” means nothing but still “error 404” is in good place.

    Would be better to delete this “error 404” thing and write in very good place “We couldn’t find what you are looking for, please search or browse sitemap”

    I’ll change right away my 404 pages.

    -1
  19. 19

    Enjoyed it so much…
    tnx!

    -1
  20. 20

    Kind of appropriate…..

    I’m trying to enter the desktop wallpaper calendar contest for February but my email is bouncing back with this error:
    :
    The users mailfolder is over the allowed quota (size). (#5.2.2)

    D’oh… I may be too late anyway :(

    -1
  21. 21

    Good list… Little elements like an attractive (yet functional!) 404 page help improve the experience for the end user.

    Pattern Tap also has a useful list of 404 pages.

    -1
  22. 22

    That reminds me I need to make a nicer 404 page. Man Homer seems to be pretty popular for this error.

    -1
  23. 23

    Wow these are great. This one is equally nice: http://cssscoop.com/404
    Nice post…

    and @Benjamin Falk – Yeah they have a great list.

    -1
  24. 24

    Great list… Thanks

    -1
  25. 25

    Henrik Hedegaard

    January 29, 2009 11:00 am

    Very nice – and thanks for the reference to my 404-page :-)

    -1
  26. 26

    Hey, glad to see BrightKit made the list! It was inspired from the previous list of 404 pages, so it’s nice to see it on this one. Cheers!

    -1
  27. 27

    Nice list .The css-tricks and gog.com 404’s are my favourites.

    -1
  28. 28

    Nice, but what we have done here is unsurpassed, I think:
    http://www.tuv.com/de/en/zert . Check it out.
    1. You land on a page with wrong url.
    2. It is in the overall layout
    3. It gives you the main navigation.
    4. It tells you it did not find that page.
    5. It gives you a search result page with the term behind the last slash in the given URL.
    6. It sends an error message with referral, requested page and timestamp to the admin, which automatically processes it and adds it to an error report.

    andreas.wpv
    andreas.wpv@directorinternet.com

    -1
  29. 29

    Washington post holds my favorite 404 page. Its actually an ad on its 404 page.
    “This page doesn’t exist. Just like clean coal” :)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/29/AR092009012901095.html?hpid=topnews

    -1
  30. 30

    I’m getting “Internal server error” instead of your 404 page.
    Maybe we should also design THAT page to show something nice to the users, instead of telling them that we probably goofed somewhere…

    0
  31. 31

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    January 29, 2009 11:37 am

    @T (#24): that’s not true, our 404-error-page doesn’t show an internal server error.

    -1
  32. 32

    @Vitaly and Sven

    T mentioned the error page of the author of this post. The link you provided to sylwias website returns an Error 500.

    -2
  33. 33

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    January 29, 2009 12:21 pm

    @webmeister (#26): oh, that’s true. ;-(

    -1
  34. 34

    What a great collection, I like the one from Apartmenthomeliving.com.

    -1
  35. 35

    Hehe nice ones.. some of them are really inspiring / beatyfull others are just hilarious there are also those that are really good for their cause [ bakery : toasted 404 , HEINZ : empty page ].

    PS. :o i’m part of the Herr Nilsson’s 404 error page [ i was actually @the time the screenshot was shot ]! or a response to a tweet of mine at least :p

    -1
  36. 36

    Beautiful. We had to link this! :-)

    -1
  37. 37

    great pages, i tryed someting similar on 3ner.ro, but i ended up trying to make something usefull of it and monetize the page

    -1
  38. 38

    Love a great 404 page…a really easy way to show your visitors that you pay attention to every detail. Great post.

    -1
  39. 39

    glossygames.com

    January 29, 2009 2:14 pm

    I am so pro creativity but unless you are a css gallery or some kind website that expects only web designers/developers it is probably for the best not to be too creative. I mean the average user probably does not even know what 404 means and it would be better to explain what actually happened in the simplest way possible. boring I know but effective.. As far as creativity goes though these are great pages.
    http://www.glossygames.com

    -1
  40. 40

    Michael Tyson

    January 29, 2009 2:29 pm

    How’s this for awesome irony: Visit Wulffmorgenthaler.com’s 404 page, linked above, then click the ‘home’ link.

    “Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

    The resource cannot be found.

    Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

    Requested URL: /WulffMorgenthaler/default.aspx”

    0

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